The list of men in powerful positions accused of sexual abuse, assault, or harassment has been growing by the day. Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby, Larry Nasser, Senator Al Franken, and yes, even President Donald Trump. The list goes on.
No sector has been immune. Reports of harassment have sprung from Washington, D.C., from Hollywood, from Silicon Valley, from major media enterprises, and from everywhere in between.
Inspired by those who have already come forward, more and more women are continuing to come forward with their own stories of and experience with sexual harassment. While both movements, and society in general, have a long way to go in shining a light on and eradicating sexual harassment, we’ve seen several immediate benefits here in Kentucky:
First, immediate credibility. In years past, women who waited any amount of time to report harassment weren’t taken seriously, their allegations brushed off as no big deal, the harassment labeled anything but. More recently, however, these brave women, and their harassment allegations, have been given the credibility they deserve.
Second (and relatedly), more empathy and understanding. We’re now seeing a level of empathy and understanding from the general public, and juries, for why victims don’t always immediately report harassment–fear of retaliation or losing a job, humiliation and embarrassment, to name just a few.
Again, there’s more work to be done. And many women are still understandably fearful for coming forward. But the national conversation is helping, and those who do come forward can help change the workplace dynamic–for themselves and others.
Have you been sexually harassed? Are you worried about coming forward? Do you have questions about how you can come forward and still protect yourself and your family? We can help.